Joint Press Release: Faith Leaders Demand Senate Pass For the People Act, Say Filibuster Can’t Stand in Way of Sacred Voting Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2021
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Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life Action: “Jesus said that a tree will be known by its fruit, and the fruit of the filibuster is racism and death.”
Washington, D.C. -- Today, national faith leaders joined together to demand the U.S. Senate pass the For the People Act and not let the filibuster stand in the way of voting rights. Leaders of Faith in Public Life, Bend the Arc, Sojourners, Poligon, National Council of Churches, and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice participated in a virtual press conference.
For video recording of the event, click here.
Johanna Mustafa, Policy and Advocacy Manager, Poligon Education Fund
“I am here today, on behalf of Poligon Education Fund, as a Muslim leader and an ally to all impacted communities, to echo the sentiments of our partners in this space and the urgency presented by speakers before me, and call on our Senators to center the needs of the most vulnerable constituents, particularly Black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized Americans who will continue to be disenfranchised and silenced without the For the People Act, especially in the upcoming elections. We reaffirm our unwavering support for voting rights and demand that procedural obstacles, including the Senate filibuster, do not stand in the way of protecting the freedom to vote for all Americans.”
Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life Action
“Jesus said that a tree will be known by its fruit, and the fruit of the filibuster is racism and death. That is why Faith in Public Life Action has collected signatures from over 1,500 faith communities calling on Congress to protect our freedom to choose our leaders by dispensing with the filibuster and passing the For the People Act. Today on their behalf, I call on Democratic leaders from Sen. Joe Manchin to President Joe Biden to listen to Mordecai’s words to Queen Esther…”Perhaps you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this.”
Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, Chief Operating Officer, National Council of Churches USA
“In a democracy, voting is a way to reaffirm the dignity of all of God’s people and recognize we are all created in God’s image...so to deny or suppress the vote is to deny the inherent dignity of God and the very image of God’s people. It is immoral, it is a sin and it is a shame. We need to do better than this. That is why it’s time to end the filibuster with its racist history to pass the For the People Act.”
Sister Quincy Howard, OP, Government Relations Advocate, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
“The legacy of our nation is to make possible what others believe to be impossible. No one believed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would pass—until it did. The Holy Spirit is at work in the Senate as we speak, making all sorts of things possible. I for one have faith that Senators and the President will recognize the moral call in this fight and be inspired to push forward what is fully within their power and make the For the People Act the law of the land.”
Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
“Freedom of religion… freedom of speech… the ability of citizens to choose the leaders that make key decisions that impact the well-being of our communities -- these are values that are critical for this society to live up to its promise, and to thrive. They are also why religious minorities, including the Jewish community, understand that our thriving and our safety is to live in societies that value democracy and honor the civil and human rights of all of its citizens.
Rev. Terrance M. McKinley, Director of Racial Justice Mobilizing, Sojourners
“Our vote vocalizes our humanity and 56 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we must continue to preserve this Holy right… There are those who have fought for this with blood, sweat and tears and they have now passed it onto us to make certain that all are able to exercise their right to vote.”
Faith in Public Life Action is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.